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Marching on, I have downloaded Spotify on my phone and made a special list of classical music to sleep to. Mostly Piano, but also some violin, flute and other instruments. So far, it has definitely helped me sleep.

While I have still woken up, it hasn’t been nearly as much as normal. (2-3 times compared to 6-10. Not joking.) Still not the greatest sleep in the world, but for me, a chronic insomniac, this is great.
Happiness level has still so far only been minimally effected. I believe that sleeping well will help, but it will not do everything, of course. I wake up better, but I still end up irritable, easily annoyed, frustrated and depressed.

Intelligence is still largely neutral, but I am still doing good with Words with Friends, silly as that seems. My mind also seems to want to read a lot, so that is promising. But without any difficult problems coming my way, it’s hard to assess right now.

Creativity is up, but slightly. Still having issues dealing with writing while people are around, so it’s hard to say if creativity is really up since I haven’t had much time to test it out.

 

Overall, sleeping to classical music sounds good. Perhaps I will look up some research as well…

So my last few posts have been about my dear friend who passed away. Yesterday was the memorial and I flew in from out of town to attend. While there are so many things that I wish I could have done, while anger boiled up within me, wanting to blame people for what they had done, I didn’t. I couldn’t. Despite that I could clearly see that there were some people who had not helped her when they thought they were, they had good intentions.

And in the face of this tragedy, I could not scold them that ‘the path to hell is paved with good intentions’. It was not my place. I was not there to help and I do not have a thorough assessment of what was going on. I have bits and pieces and what she told me. I have what I’ve learned since then. None of it is complete, and I want to blame someone, including myself, that it happened.

But that doesn’t help anyone. Not at all. So I’m trying to do something with it.

I already mentioned before that I wanted to get my degree in Psychology. That is still the plan right now, I am merely figuring out the logistics of it. Which school and such. Since I am likely going to have to get a student loan anyways, it makes little difference anymore of the where besides what the college and the area offers.

So I may be moving to accomplish my goals. Which sounds fun.

I recently finished reading Zen And the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss. I liked it.

I approached it with an open mind, and I enjoyed the read. The idea of the book, at it’s core, is that to be happy you must realize that the Universe is looking out for you and regardless of what happens, it is the best possible thing that can happen to you.

Or, in other words, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

I loved the emphasis on this, and I loved the story examples the author gave. I loved that the author mentions using this method in his drug rehabilitation center especially. [Even though many people didn’t.]

I loved the mention to drug rehabilitation because as an aspiring Psychologist, it was very helpful, and I believe that it is a far more effective treatment method than many therapists use, especially in the case of drug rehabilitation. This is largely because of my own personal experience. I went to a treatment center that included drug addiction as well as other at-risk behaviours. They taught there the ‘rule of thirds’: One third will recover, one third will relapse and one third will die.

Very depressing stuff, hearing that constantly, always wondering which third you’ll be. They also largely focus on shame and making the patient feel bad for what they did. While it is good to feel regret for their bad choices, regret and guilt are two different things. Guilt can be toxic, and the more loving philosophy would, I believe, benefit the patients much better. With the belief that the Universe is looking out for you, recovery can be a much more relaxing place.

On the other hand, there are definitely some cons as well.

Zen and Buddhism only play a minor role in the book, which is misleading based on the title. While it covers the subjects in a broad sense, any practitioner [or practitioner to be] should take it with a grain of salt. It does not mention a lot about meditation or mindfulness, [though the argument can be made that he is talking about mindfulness in the philosophy of ‘everything that happens is the best possible thing that can happen’].

It is also simply written, which can be either good or bad. I didn’t mind it, but sometimes it took him some time to get to the point of what he was trying to say. He often spent more time sharing his personal stories than explaining his philosophy.

It’s definitely more of a philosophy book mixed with a disjointed memoir than a How-To. Which to me, was fine.

I don’t believe any ‘How-To’ book on Happiness is anything more than philosophy with some direction anyways.

3.5/5 stars. It’s a quick read, and I got it at a discount. Worth the read, but there are better books out there.

So this weekend I went camping in Zion National Park with some friends. We spent two nights, hiked three trails [technically four trails, depending on how you look at the different trails, but they were three separate hikes at the very least], and it was amazing.

We arrived Friday Evening in Hurricane, UT, where we camped at Sand Hollow Reservoir [a UT State Park]. We didn’t do any hiking that day, and instead ended up cooking sausages and s’mores and talking and going to bed pretty early. But it was while talking to my guy friends that I realized something that I will explain in a second post. [It got too long for one post.]

The second day was equally amazing, though far more tiring. We did a couple hikes. The first one was Angel’s Landing. It was partially hard because this was my first time really testing out my¬† Merrell Barefoot Shoes that I’d gotten in Hawai’i. I’d been wearing them quite often after I got them, but I’ve never worn them hiking before. So never at an incline, really. My calves had to get used to the new muscles I was using for the hike.

By the time my muscles had adjusted, my body was starting to fatigue. It was a difficult climb, as the website suggests, but largely because of the last half. Just when you’re starting to get tired. That’s when you hit the hard part. I was taking up the end of our group and having to stop frequently because I’m not quite in the shape for that sort of thing. And really, the part that some people have trouble with, the narrow path over sheer cliffs- I had no problem with. The shoes definitely helped with the parts that we half-way bouldering.

It was amazing to get to the top of Angel’s Landing. One of my friends thought that we likely wouldn’t all make it. [Largely because of his sister and me, as we’re rather inexperienced.] But we all did. I was rather proud of myself.

We then went to Emerald Pools, another trail nearby, which had an easy trail followed by a moderate one to get all the way to the top. [There are three pools.] It was a dry year, so they weren’t very full. It was beautiful none the less, however.

We went to Bumbleberry Inn to have dinner and went to bed pretty early.

The next morning I got up early because my friend and his sister wanted to get back into home pretty early and I was sharing a tent with her. I didn’t mind though. I helped with packing everything up and got to watch the sunrise and meditate.

We then went on one last hike- Timber Creek Ovelook. A moderate hike that only took an hour long. Of course, the three of us remaining were all still sore from the day before, but we got to stop and take pictures.

It was an amazing trip and I was really glad I was able to do it. It definitely reignited my desire to go hiking and to go camping. Now I have to go again.

And because I feel like it:

Completing Strenous level hike: +1000

Completing Moderate level hike: +500 (x2)

Completing Easy Hike: +100

Sleeping two nights in overly windy campsite: +100

 

I’ve been working as a freelance writer for almost a year. Off and on, and I haven’t gotten much work (or, to be honest, tried very hard), since the new year started.

So I’ve also been applying for jobs. I would like a writing job where I can work full-time, not have to worry about marketing my services, and get paid a decent amount of money. I’m already making over $10/hr at my current (part-time) job, and I can usually get a minimum of $15-$20/hr freelancing, so I’m also a little picky on the pay scale.

However, my last two interviews I ended up having panic attacks and cancelling them. Not a good idea, I know, but luckily neither were great jobs anyways so not getting them isn’t a big deal.

Recently, however, I have changed my career path. Instead of trying to apply for staff writing jobs, I decided to apply for some youth counselor jobs. Including an awesome job at an inpatient treatment center for at-risk adolescent girls. It’s a pretty awesome job, to be honest. I would absolutely love it. Since I intend to get a Psychology degree, and I love to help others, it would easily be a great job for me.

I know that I could do this for quite some time. I went to an inpatient treatment center when I was sixteen for seventeen months. I could not stand the place, and to be honest, the only thing that got me through those seventeen months was helping others there and learning new things about psychology.

So wish me luck

The original article, written by Ron Kemp talks about a dad who gets a tattoo in honor of his bisexual son, Dylan. The tattoo says ‘Born This Way’ in Italian, to match his son’s ‘Born This Way’ tattoo.

The video was taken while Dylan was visiting home on spring break. While I’m not going to say more than Ron already did, just watch the video. It is amazing and it makes me cry.